On Tuesday I said that an unchurched first time guest wants at least three things…
1. To fit in with everyone else attending
2. To be anonymous
3. To get more information as they are ready
Let’s talk about #1 today. A first time guest wants to fit in with everyone else attending. This means that you want to:
- Avoid singling them out in any way. Allow them to identify themselves. See my earlier post for more on this.
- Provide directions for what to do and when to do it. This means that you want to provide clear directions both in signage and from the stage, so that a first time guest doesn’t ever feel lost or confused.
One big area where you should provide direction for newcomers is in the worship service itself. This means you give instructions on when to ‘stand up’ and when to ‘bow your head and pray’ (beware of prayers that just start and leave newcomers standing with heads up while everyone else bows their hands).
In general, just a few small instructions throughout the service can help newcomers fit in. This not only leads to a great first time experience but highly increases the likelihood they will return. And that’s the first goal of assimilation: to turn a first time guest into second time guest.
Action step: think through your entire worship service and ask, “Am I giving my first time guests enough instructions so they can ‘fit in’ with everyone else.” Next, think through signage from the parking lot to children areas to the main auditorium. Can people figure out where to go without having to ask someone?
Tomorrow we’ll discuss why first time guests want to remain anonymous.
P.S. For a complete treatment of my full assimilation system (that goes way beyond the Fusion Book or the basic seminar) check out The Assimilation Intensive by clicking here.
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